cover image Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion

Listen: How Evelyn Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion

Shannon Stocker, illus. by Devon Holzwarth. Dial, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-10969-4

Having learned piano and clarinet before being diagnosed with degenerative hearing loss at age 10, Evelyn Glennie (b. 1965) was determined not to forsake music, which “rolled through the farm hills” of her native Scotland. Drawn by her school orchestra’s percussion instruments, she starts lessons with a teacher who suggests that she remove her hearing aids and feel the drums’ vibrations in her body: “every other sense intensified, as if Evelyn’s whole body had become one giant ear,” Stocker writes. Embracing the idea that “her brain just listened differently,” Glennie fights to attend London’s Royal Academy of Music—resulting in changed rules across British music schools—then goes on to record albums, win two Grammy Awards, and be awarded damehood by Queen Elizabeth II. Digitally enhanced watercolor, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations by Holzwarth emphasize Glennie’s experience of finding, per an author’s note, “other ways to listen,” capturing the figure’s barefoot performances via swirling, radiant colors that pour forth from her mallets. Ages 4–8. (Apr.)